How can Church of England bid be judged fairly in light of secrecy

I am shocked that the Lib Dem/Conservative administration, elected with a mandate for open, listening, responsive local government, have made such a mess of the consultation process over the new secondary school (UCL under fire over secondary takeover pla

I am shocked that the Lib Dem/Conservative administration, elected with a mandate for open, listening, responsive local government, have made such a mess of the consultation process over the new secondary school (UCL under fire over secondary takeover plan, H&H July 5).

The Church of England publicly expressed interest in running the new school early in 2007. Since then their representatives have spoken about their vision for the school at four public meetings, three of them hosted at my church less than a mile from the potential site at Adelaide Road.

There has been a great deal of public support for the plans, shown in a number of different ways including at Camden's consultation meetings. And yet throughout this whole process the council did not ask the C of E to submit a formal proposal for the school.

By contrast, UCL also apparently expressed interest, but not in public. In fact the councillors have denied talking to UCL and no UCL representative has appeared at any public meeting in Camden to talk about their vision for the school.


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There has been no visible public support for their plans and no mention was made of them at any of Camden's consultation meetings. Yet I read that councillors are on the verge of deciding in favour of UCL.

Are we supposed to believe that secret talks with UCL have not taken place? If they have not, how can Camden decide whether UCL can deliver what Camden wants on the basis of a short vision statement? If they have, how can there be a level playing field? How can the C of E bid be judged fairly?

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The only option that will be fair to all is an open competition. That too is the only way to get the best for Camden's children. I can't understand why the council might be considering any other option.

Alistair Tresidder

Vicar of St.luke's Hampstead

Kidderpore Avenue, NW3

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